AUTO REVIEW—Lean Six Sigma is widely known as a blueprint for quality products from efficient manufacturing practices. At Toyo Kogyo, Lean Six could also describe its bread and butter family car, appropriately called the Mazda6. We commandeered a 2012 model to see how Mazda’s lean machine compares with its competition. Mark Dorman reports.
BOOK REVIEW—1969’s classic “The Italian Job” called for a gold heist using Mini Coopers. Fiat approached the producers with the following: Use Fiats instead of Minis, and they can have as many cars as they want, plus luxury cars and a cash bonus—all indicative of the awareness by Fiat’s Agnellis of the power of image. The first part of “Mondo Agnelli” by Jennifer Clark covers the last 100 years of the Agnellis—the founders of Fiat and the family synonymous with Italy’s industrial progress. The second covers the era of Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne—a harsh, unforgiving environment where the fate of national institutions can be discarded on the basis of last year’s corporate balance sheets. Zoran Segina reviews.
AUTO SHOW—Just a few years ago, they were left for dead. Talk of bankruptcy and bailouts filled the air, and the talk applied as much to Detroit as it did to its auto industry. Today, the talk is about a come-back city with the come-back industry. Auto sales are booming. Attendance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is the best in five years. Chris Merlo and Mark Dapoz were there to witness the historic resurrection of the American car industry.
LA CAR REPORT—If our staff were to make a list of all the cool cars we’d like to own, on every list would be a McLaren. Thus, fate played a part when LA Car was summoned (well, invited actually, but summoned sounds more important) to the grand opening of McLaren Beverly Hills. Reed Berry and John Grafman were there when the Big Mac invaded Beverly Hills.